Sydney Tools will open its first store in the Northern Territory tomorrow, June 11, in Darwin.
The 2500sqm flagship store will be the first opened by Sydney Tools outside its existing bricks-and-mortar base along Australia’s Eastern Seaboard.
Sydney Tools director Jason Bey said making a physical presence in all key markets like Darwin is vital to their expansion strategy as more than 94 per cent of the group’s revenue was generated through their bricks-and-mortar retail outlets.
“In the trade tools business, customers like to visit the store personally to see and handle the product,” Bey said. “When you’re manning tools all day, it’s vital to purchase the best possible for comfort, speed and to minimise work-related injuries.”
But, like many retailers now, Bey said they are also continuing to enjoy a very strong and rapidly growing online presence, with online sales climbing 50 per cent in first quarter 2020.
“Our online sales have grown tremendously since January 1, driven largely by the ongoing impact of COVID-19,” he said.
“Heeding the advice of governments and health experts, many of our customers are restricting all non-essential travel, pushing solid online sales growth. Strong growth in this area has also come from unparalleled demand for COVID-19 protective gear, such as masks and gloves.”
The retailer said they see Darwin as offering enormous growth potential for the specialist tools market.
“Around 11,158 people were employed in the construction industry in the Northern Territory in 2018-2019, making it the fourth largest employing industry in the region,” Bey said.
“While this represented a decline in employment of 23.1 per cent in year on year terms, in line with a decrease in building and engineering activity, we believe a number of significant upcoming infrastructure projects are set to underpin the sector going forward.”
One of the projects Bey mentioned includes the Federal Government’s $1.6 billion works program at Darwin’s RAAF Base Tindal, announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in February.
Subject to parliamentary approval, the project will start mid-2020 and is anticipated to generate 300 jobs during the construction phase.
Bey said the company’s Winnellie store in Darwin will also include a fully equipped workshop with a full-time technician to ensure they can efficiently calibrate and repair tools to minimise down time.
“Our team will be on hand to service all major brands of power tools, gas tools, compressors, generators and more, including facilitating warranty repairs on some brands where applicable.”